Friday, 13 November 2009

"Miss Clawd IV" ZK-IUS

The above photograph, taken at Hamilton on 07-11-2009, was sent to me for identification and if possible a little bit of its history.

Well this particular helicopter is a Japanes Kawasaki built Hughes 369HS registered here as ZK-IUS , c/n 6631 , to Kiwi Kopters Tauranga Ltd since 06-05-2008.

It was built and registered in Japan as JA9131 on 27-08-1974 to Yomiuru Shimbun of Tokyo. Ownership transferred to Nishi Hihon Kuyu at Fukuoka from 05-04-1990.

It was involved in an incident on 23-08-2000 at Nishikata and cancelled on 07-11-2000.

Imported to NZ by Wing & Rotor Aviation Ltd it was repaired and became ZK-HSE3 on 26-03-2001 and went to Suttons Moss Ltd at Dobson (on the west coast of the south island). Frank Wright appears on the paper work from 21-06-2004. Am not sure what Frank did with it, but he is well known for his repair and rebuild projects. Next listed owner was Volcanic Air Safaris from 17-08-2004 followed by a transfer to Kiwi Kopters on 31-03-2008. It was re-registered as ZK-IUS on 06-05-2008.

It is painted to represent the Hughes OH-6A Cayuse serialled 68-17340 of the C troop, 16th Cavalry of the US Army. It is now preserved in their Fort Rucker Museum. It had a distinguished career in South Vietnam.

The real thing is shown below "in country" and sitting on PSP. (PSP = pierced steel planking or Marsden mating).


For more info on This operating group; the C/16 Outcasts ; see :-
Another shot of the real machine.

Above is an artists view of 68-17340 "Miss Clawd IV" of Captain Hugh Mills.

For pics of it at Fort Rucker check out :-

Below are a couple of the insignia used by C/16 and depicted on the helicopter.

So ZK-IUS appears to be a pretty good representation of 68-17340. Missing its the 7.62 minigun and perhaps the red & white under nose marks.

Kiwi Kopters also operate the Bell 47G-3B1 ZK-ICJ. This is painted up to represent a MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) helicopter (minus its external stretcher racks). Pic below.
They also have the Bell 47J2 ZK-HGI4 on their books.


  1. My Mother's partner was the crew-chief/door gunner on the Miss Clawd IV with Hugh M. Mills. I am 100% cetain that I know the two men to ask if you might have any further question about this aircraft or it's time in Vietnam. You can hit my up at if you've any other questions, and I will find the answers for you. Have a great day and thanks for not letting this bit of history be forgotten! ~Scott

  2. Another wartime photo of the real Miss Clawd IV on NZ Vietnam website

  3. Yep.
    Certainly looks like it.
    Thanks for the pointer.

  4. I flew both of these aircraft for Kiwi Kopters from 2008 through to 2011